Development in the field of high-power laser systems with repetition rates of several Hz and energies of few joules is highly active and opening, giving new possibilities for the design of laser ions sources. Preliminary investigations on the use of four different laser and target configurations are presented: (1) A small CO2laser (100 mJ, 10.6 μm) focused onto a polyethylene target to produce C ions at 1 Hz repetition rate (CERN). (2) An excimer XeCl laser (6 J, 308 nm) focused onto solid targets (Frascati). (3) A femtosecond Ti: sapphire laser (250 mJ, 800 nm) directed onto a solid targets (Jena). (4) A picosecond Nd: yttrium-aluminum-garnet (0.3 J, 532 nm) focused into a dense medium of atomic clusters and onto solid targets (London). The preliminary experimental results and the most promising schemes will be discussed with respect to the scaling of the production of high numbers of highly charged ions. Different lasers are compared in terms of current density at 1 m distance for each charge state. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
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